Alumni Association University of Michigan Winter 2009 : Page 10

For generations of alumni, the Rock is one of the central icons of life at Michigan. BJ Alpern, ’85, MPP’00, and Pyper Logan-Alpern, ’99, JD’02, included it among the spots where they had wedding photos taken. Remember the Rock? You probably painted it when you were a student, under cover of night. A couple of hours later, someone else probably painted over it. The Rock, located at Hill Street and Washtenaw Avenue, actually belongs to the city of Ann Arbor. The little traffic island is called George Washington Park. According to the city’s Web site, the big chunk of rock resting there is about 30,000 years old. Buried beneath layers of paint are grooves scratched into its surface by the glacier that hauled it to this area from Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay. The city moved it to the park in 1923 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth, complete with a copper dedication plate that is now hidden beneath the paint. When Dr. and Mrs. Louis P. Hall, the great-grandparents of former U-M student Ellen Pearson Redfield, moved to the house at Washtenaw and Hill in 1885, the area was still farmland. When cars became popular, Dr. Hall, a member of the dental faculty, donated the park land to the city because he worried about a filling station being built there. His daughter, Betty Hayden (Ellen’s grandmother), lived in the house until she died in 1986, including when the Rock was painted “Happy 90th, Betty.” There is a contingent of alumni who don’t view the Rock as a real part of their alma mater. “We always thought it was absurd that opposing school partisans would want to deface it,” F. William Thewalt, ’58, wrote in an email. “We especially laughed at the Stateys wanting to paint a rock that was not part of the U-M tradition, but never wanted to set them straight.” Geoffrey Kasselman, ’87, was a senior when he and some buddies finally screwed up enough courage to paint the Rock before the Ohio State football game. When he went back the next morning to show it off, it was scarlet and gray. Many alumni, however, view the Rock as essential Michigan. Ann Kim, ’07, will never forget sharing a sleeping bag with five sorority sisters while painting the Rock. “That night, I learned Cottage Inn Pizza delivered to the Rock,” she remarked. When Pyper Logan-Alpern, ’99, JD’02, and BJ Alpern, ’85, MPP’00, had photos taken all across campus for their wedding album, they included the beloved boulder. Their friends secretly painted it for them beforehand, as this photo from their wedding album shows. “It was quite a surprise!” BJ wrote. “The photos are among the ones we hold most dear of our life together, our days at the University, and of our great Michigan friendships.” They say if you kiss someone under theWest Hall Arch, also known as the Old Engin Arch, the two of you are destined to getmarried. Send your stories to bwhites@umich.edu for an upcoming issue. 10 | Michigan Alumnus • Winter 2009 • umalumni.com Courtesy of the Alpern family M | Campus

M Campus

Remember the Rock?<br /> <br /> The Rock, located at Hill Street and Washtenaw Avenue, actually belongs to the city of Ann Arbor. The little traffic island is called George Washington Park. According to the city’s Web site, the big chunk of rock resting there is about 30,000 years old. Buried beneath layers of paint are grooves scratched into its surface by the glacier that hauled it to this area from Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay. The city moved it to the park in 1923 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth, complete with a copper dedication plate that is now<br /> hidden beneath the paint. <br /> <br /> When Dr. and Mrs. Louis P. Hall, the great-grandparents of former U-M student Ellen Pearson Redfield, moved to the house at Washtenaw and Hill in 1885, the area was still farmland. When cars became popular, Dr. Hall, a member of the dental faculty, donated the park land to the city because he worried about a filling station being built there. His daughter, Betty Hayden (Ellen’s grandmother), lived in the house until she died in 1986, including when the Rock was painted “Happy 90th, Betty.”<br /> <br /> There is a contingent of alumni who don’t view the Rock as a real part of their alma mater. “We always thought it was absurd that opposing school partisans would want to deface it,” F. William Thewalt, ’58, wrote in an email. “We especially laughed at the Stateys wanting to paint a rock that was not part of the U-M tradition, but never wanted to set them straight.” Geoffrey Kasselman, ’87, was a senior when he and some buddies finally screwed up enough courage to paint the Rock before the Ohio State football game. When he went back the next morning to show it off, it was scarlet and gray. <br /> <br /> Many alumni, however, view the Rock as essential Michigan. Ann Kim, ’07, will never forget sharing a sleeping bag with five sorority sisters while painting the Rock. “That night, I learned Cottage Inn Pizza delivered to the Rock,” she remarked. When Pyper Logan-Alpern, ’99, JD’02, and BJ Alpern, ’85, MPP’00, had photos taken all across campus for their wedding album, they included the beloved boulder. Their friends secretly painted it for them beforehand, as this photo from their wedding album shows. <br /> <br /> “It was quite a surprise!” BJ wrote. “The photos are among the ones we hold most dear of our life together, our days at the University, and of our great Michigan friendships.”<br /> <br /> Kinesiology Renamed as a School<br /> <br /> The Division of Kinesiology was renamed the School of Kinesiology on December 1 by action of the Board of Regents. The name change reflects the growing prominence, enrollment, body of research and number of faculty positions over the last decade. <br /> <br /> In the last 10 years, enrollment in the school has grown to 800, the fourth highest among the 12 schools and colleges with undergraduate programs. The graduate program also continues to grow, as does research funding. The faculty has revamped the curriculum in three of four majors for undergraduates, the doctoral program is recognized as one of the best in the country, and about a third of the faculty have leadership editorial positions in prominent research journals.<br /> <br /> “In the past decade and a half, the Division of Kinesiology has grown considerably, rising to new levels on the measures we value most highly,” Provost Teresa Sullivan said. “In changing its name to School of Kinesiology, the University gives appropriate recognition to what has been achieved and gives voice to our expectations of continuing and significant contributions to our understanding of human movement and physical activity.”<br /> <br /> In 2008, the division celebrated the grand opening of the $11.5 million<br /> newly renovated Observatory Lodge building.<br /> <br /> U-M Campus Expands to Virtual World<br /> <br /> Think you know the U-M campuses? How about Wolverine Island, U-M’s main space in the virtual world Second Life? <br /> <br /> The U-M Health Sciences Libraries and the Medical School spearheaded a kickoff event last fall to raise awareness about the virtual learning environment that is being developed at Wolverine Island. The kickoff included reallife activities at Palmer Commons as well as Second Life activities, accessed completely through a computer. <br /> <br /> To participate, members of the U-M community create an avatar, a virtual character that represents them on the island and allows them to explore the 3-D electronic landscape. Wolverine Island is home to faculty using virtual spaces to teach pharmacy, Italian, music, computer science, astronomy and other subjects.<br /> <br /> This type of education is fairly hard to grasp without experiencing it, but the possibilities are quite limitless. Students might fly in and around a 3-D image of a molecule, attend a Web conference with people from all over campus or the world, or perform experiments in a virtual laboratory. There are places in Second Life where emergency responders can train for terrorist attacks and<br /> medical students can treat patients in a virtual hospital.<br /> <br /> University Sixth in US for International Students<br /> <br /> The University attracted 5,748 international students to the state in 2007-08, the sixth highest total in the nation, according to an Institute of international Education report that shows international enrollment at an all-time high nationwide.<br /> <br /> “By welcoming international students to our campus and by encouraging our students to take advantage of education abroad opportunities, Michigan helps facilitate a cross-cultural dialogue that enriches the academic environment and broadens students’ understanding of the world,” said Mark Tessler, vice provost for international affairs and director of the International Institute. <br /> <br /> It also contributes to the economy. Skilled immigrants are major job and wealth creators: more than 33 percent of Michigan high tech startup companies were begun by foreign-born founders between 1995 and 2005, and most of those immigrants were lured to the state by its research universities, according to a recent Duke University study. The IIE report finds that international students contributed $15 billion to the US economy in 2007-08, up 7 percent from the year before.<br /> <br /> The University of Southern California was first in international students with 7,189, followed by New York University, Columbia University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University and then U-M. Michigan State joined U-M in the top 15. <br /> <br /> Ohio State Conquered in Blood Battle<br /> <br /> Yes, it’s sad but true that the Michigan football team fell 42–7 to Ohio State last fall. In other news, though, the Wolverines beat the Buckeyes in the 2008 Blood Battle.<br /> <br /> Celebrating this victory might seem like sour grapes, except it’s a contest where everyone wins. The national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega hosts the annual competition. It organizes a series of blood drives on both campuses leading up to the big game to see which school can collect more for the American Red Cross.<br /> <br /> Michigan beat Ohio State by 225 pints in the win, for a combined total of approximately 4,500 pints. The Wolverines take back the trophy this year after losing to the Buckeyes five years in a row, including by a mere three pints last<br /> year. U-M’s win total since the tradition began in 1981 now stands at 15-11-1.<br /> In the process, a lot of lives have been saved.<br /> <br /> “It’s not just about beating OSU,” Mary Rock, a U-M sophomore and Blood Battle co-chair, told the Michigan Daily. “I think Michigan students care, and it’s great that we can use a rivalry to do something so positive.<br /> <br /> Michigan Difference Campaign Raises $3.1 Billion<br /> <br /> When the Michigan Marching Band played “The Victors” in Hill Auditorium in mid-November, it was not in honor of an athletic team. Instead, it was to celebrate U-M’s extraordinary success in the Michigan Difference fundraising campaign. <br /> <br /> Begun in 2000, the campaign raised more money than ever before at U-M and is believed to have set a new record for the amount raised by any public university. At the time of the celebration, it had surpassed its goal of $2.5 billion with six weeks left until the December 30 close date.<br /> <br /> More than 364,000 donors contributed to the campaign, enabling the University to do such things as greatly increase student financial aid, create new student programs, hire and retain outstanding faculty, support groundbreaking research, and provide new buildings for health care, teaching, arts and entertainment.<br /> In a time of economic gloom, the campaign is not the only good news for U-M. Thanks to a sound investment strategy, the endowment bucked up in a challenging environment to grow from $7.1 billion to $7.6 billion in fiscal year 2008. Although U-M officials anticipate more challenges ahead—including threats to<br /> state funding and increased financial burdens for students and their families—they report that the University is in excellent position to weather the storm.

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